Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Many Questions In The Agony Of Being Intersexual

Today I have fallen ill again. Unsteady legs, dizzyness, difficulty focusing both my eyes and my thoughts. Only a general feeling of misery. Yesterday I was sneezing and coughing constantly. In this all I'm quite certain it's the result of the chronic stress I have been suffering from for at least six and a half years which is now manifesting itself in a gradual decay of my immune system and general health. The official term for this is decompensation [1], which is part of the third and final stage in the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) stress model [2] as developed by the discoverer of stress, Hans Selye.

In Selye's original article [3] he describes an experiment on rats which got exposed to stressors. During the first stage (Alarm) they suffered severe physical degradations in their organs to the induced stress, which they mostly recovered from during the second stage (Resistance). After a certain period the third stage (Exhaustion) sets in. During this final stage the rats began to show symptoms similar to those in the first stage, yet instead of eventually improving many of the rats died before the experiment was stopped. This indicates that chronic stress is in fact lethal due to the physical degradations it effects.

Looking at my own case, it's not hard to identify stressors. First of all there are the countless questions, each of which cause a significant emotional response:

  1. Why was the possibility of me being intersexual never entertained by Dutch physicians?
  2. Why was the possibility of me being intersexual never entertained by Dutch psychologists?
  3. Why did I have to wait half a year for the first appointment at the VUMC hospital and call myself when they said it would take 4 months and they'd call me?
  4. Why did they keep asking/telling me that I wanted to become a woman?
  5. Why did the VUMC hospital only perform a quick physical check-up by someone inexperienced with IS?
  6. Why was the diagnosis of hermaphrodite by German clinics ignored by all Dutch hospitals?
  7. Why didn't the Dutch hospitals discuss their findings with those German clinics?
  8. Why did the UMCG hospital fake a mosaic test, pretending that one tissue would suffice for it?
  9. Why does every Dutch radiologist have another interpretation for the tube which is clearly visible on MRIs?
  10. Why did at least one Dutch radiologist mention the presence of two testicles in the scrotum where only one was visible?
  11. Why were all the clinical symptoms regarding the prostate, palpable structures underneath the skin, hormone balance etc. ignored?
  12. Why did the AMC hospital come up with the not-existing diagnosis autoparagynaecophilia, pretending it was all in my mind?
  13. Why did the VUMC hospital want to have me taken into a psychiatric place instead of perform examinations?
  14. Why is the lack of existing medical protocols a reason to not perform appropriate examinations?
  15. Why did the Dutch politicians not care about this situation?
  16. Why did one Dutch politician accuse me of lying instead of the doctors lying to me?
  17. Why don't I know yet what my body is like?
  18. Why can't I live a normal life?
  19. Why isn't there a safe place for someone like me?

And so on and on and on...

If the GAS model is correct, then I am probably in the third and final stage now of Exhaustion. After six and a half years of constant presence of stressors this isn't too surprising. It took the rats in Selye's experiment only 1-3 months to move from phase 2 into phase 3. The stressors of getting arrested and spending a night in a jail cell with all the uncertainty about whether I would get out on the second day must have really pushed me over the edge.

Why did all of this have to happen? Is there a quick way to get me into a stressor-free environment? It seems essential based on the available evidence that something is done soon. I'm not so much talking about suicide, although that is a distinct possibility considering past behaviour, but mostly about the severely negative effect on my immune system, presence of harmful visceral fat [4] and other health issues.

Another stress factor got added yesterday when I learned that while Australia is a lot better for intersexual people, there are still stupid and backwards limitations, all of which act as additional stressors for me, and clearly overburdening my system. I can notice that I am in the Exhaustion stage, as I can not find a way to deal with it, put it aside or just accept it.

A voice in my head, one which sounds quite calm and reasonable, keeps stating that it is a much more reasonable and logical option to take my own life than to continue this struggle which I obviously can not handle any more. It's literally too much for me to take at this point and only rapid external help can save me at this point.

I'm Exhausted. End of the line.



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